Recently we were back in that time of year when TV hits a dry spell: the infamous Winter Hiatus, when no new episodes are aired from about mid-December to mid-January. If you’re anything like me, you’re anxious for things to start up again, growing bored out of your mind watching the only things available to you: reruns, holiday specials you’ve seen dozens of times, and drawn-out New Year’s Eve shows. Why must we endure this dearth of good television precisely during that time of year when pretty much everyone has time off?
Television networks have basically always run on the same schedule, with breaks during the summer (an even longer dry spell) and winter months. Traditionally, these times of the year are simply expected to draw fewer viewers. The reasoning here is sound, in that no network wants to air a new episode when people are more likely to be visiting with relatives or traveling than watching TV, but is that really the case anymore?